Aug. 27, 2010
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By Sarah Tarasewicz
FT. MYERS, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Sophomore Evija Vilde (Riga, Latvia) hit a match-best .474 with 12 kills and a service ace as the UCF volleyball team swept Houston Baptist, 3-0 (26-24, 25-18, 25-16), in its 2010 season-opener at the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament Friday morning.
Junior Kristin Fisher (Clearwater, Fla.) had a big day on both sides of the ball, leading the Black and Gold with 14 digs, while also matching Vilde for the team and match-high with 12 kills.
"Evija really had a break-out match," third-year head coach Todd Dagenais said. "It showed me that she is going to continue on the trend that she left off with last year. Kristin also put up big numbers for us offensively. She was solid in both the front row and back row. If she can hit .240 all year and can average four kills a set I think that we will be a pretty good team. As a program, I feel as if we can play not great and still find a way to win, which is what we did today."
As a team, the Knights outhit the Huskies .232 with 45 kills to .089 with only 28 kills for Houston Baptist. UCF also had 48 digs compared to its opponent's 38.
Producing big numbers in the back row during the match was sophomore Meredith Murphy (Austin, Texas). The libero totaled 13 digs in the contest, extending her streak of matches with 10 or more digs to 10, after concluding the 2009 season with a run of nine-straight.
"Defensively, Meredith again did such a great job of controlling the tempo of the match. Roxy Mendez (Orlando, Fla.) also got to see playing time in all three sets and she did a really great job in both passing and serve receive."
In her collegiate debut, Mendez tallied six digs and added two assists. The defensive specialist was the only true-freshman to see the court for the Knights against the Huskies.
The Knights are set to play the host Eagles tonight at 7 p.m. to end the opening day of the FGCU Tournament. The Black and Gold will face Bethune-Cookman Saturday at 1 p.m. in its final match of the event.
UCF is 0-1 all-time against FGCU, falling to the Eagles, 1-3 (23-25, 18-25, 26-24, 18-25), at The Venue at UCF in 2008.
The Black and Gold will conclude the tournament Saturday against a Bethune-Cookman squad that returns four starters from 2009, when it tallied a 13-15 overall record and a second-place showing in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Kaiyana Johnson is the top returner for the Wildcats, having been named to the MEAC Championship All-Tournament Team last season. UCF holds a 16-0 advantage over Bethune-Cookman in the all-time series, having won 20-consecutive sets in the squads' last seven meetings and claimed wins in 48 of 49 sets all-time versus the Wildcats. The only set UCF dropped to Bethune-Cookman was the second set of the teams' only meeting in 2002.
Following the FGCU Tournament, the Black and Gold will continue one of its two six-match road stretches in Wilmington, N.C., at the UNC Wilmington Hilton Garden Inn/Courtyard by Marriott Classic. During the tournament, the Knights will face the host Seahawks, UNC Greensboro and South Carolina State.
Season tickets are now available for purchase for only $30 online at UCFAthletics.com or by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at (407) UCF-1000. The Knights are set to host 13 regular-season matches at The Venue at UCF this season, which includes 10 Conference USA contests.
2010 UCF Volleyball
UCF vs Houston Baptist (Aug 27, 2010 at Fort Myers, Fla.)
UCF def. Houston Baptist 26-24,25-18,25-17
UCF (1-0) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Fisher, Kristin 12-1-0; Vilde, Evija
12-1-0; Crump, Angelica 8-0-0; McCutcheon, Tory 7-1-1; Riedel, Nichole
3-0-0; Vukson, Rachel 2-1-1; Wallace, Brittanie 1-0-0; MURPHY,
Meredith 0-2-0; Totals 45-6-2.0. (Assists) - Vukson, Rachel 36. (Dig
leaders) - Fisher, Kristin 14; Murphy, Meredith 13
Houston Baptist (0-1) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Jolie Graf 8-0-6; Heather
Leaverton 7-1-2; Isis Gardner 7-0-2; Christie Dorch 2-0-1; Sarah
Hazlewood 2-0-2; Barbara Silva 2-1-1; Victoria Weatherly 1-0-2;
Courtney Whittleman 0-1-0; Totals 29-3-9.0. (Assists) - Victoria
Weatherly 23. (Dig leaders) - Courtney Whittleman 17; Isis Gardner 9
Site: Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena)
Date: Aug 27, 2010 Attend: 83 Time: 1:16
Referees: Ken Wishburn, James Phillips